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Rs74.37bn earmarked for local govt department

Oonib Azam
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024

The Sindh government has increased the budget for its local government department by 18.75 percent for the next fiscal year. An amount of Rs62.631 billion was allocated for the financial year 2023-24, while for 2024-25, an amount of Rs74.376 billion has been allocated.

The Sindh Local Government, Housing, and Town Planning Department does not have either any new schemes or mega projects for Karachi. Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in his budget speech in the house said on Friday that there are no new schemes in the current budget. He said financial empowerment at the grass roots is imperative for service delivery and good governance.

Considering the emerging needs of the local councils, he said that the Sindh government has provided additional funds of Rs33.9 billion to increase the grant to local councils from Rs88 billion to Rs121.9 billion in the current financial 2023-24. For the next financial year, a provision of Rs160 billion has been kept so that the councils may provide better services.

The CM said that they have also enhanced the grant for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) by 50 percent in the Octroi Zila Tax and 17.5 percent in pension share; “thus, the total enhanced share stands at Rs1.612 billion in CFY 2023-24.”

He said the Sindh government has also provided Rs555 million to the KMC for Nullah-cleaning activity in the Karachi Division. Additionally, funds of Rs410 million have been provided for cleaning all storm water channels/drains and Nullahs of the city.

Besides, he said, they have also increased the grant for the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) and share of the Sindh Local Government Board up to Rs400 million and Rs81.4 million, respectively.

The chief minister said Karachi has two major sources of water supply -- Indus River and Hub Dam. The supply from the Hub Dam through the Hub Canal has considerably reduced from 100 million gallons to 70 million gallons daily. Some of the large areas of Karachi, including but not limited to Orangi, Baldia, Keamari, SITE and New Karachi are dependent upon the water supply from the Hub Canal.

Accordingly, the Sindh government has approved the rehabilitation of the existing Hub Canal and construction of a new canal of 100 million gallons parallel to the existing one through the ADP with a total cost of Rs12.72 billion. The project implementation will start in next financial year.

According to the budget books’ volume V (Public Sector Development Programme), the Sindh solid waste management’s total allocation under the Sindh Local Government, Housing & Town Planning head, devoid of foreign project assistance (FPA), is Rs910.7 million. No new scheme has been included in the solid waste management programme.

In the outgoing financial year 2023-24, it was Rs826 million, meaning there has been an increase of Rs84 million in the allocation of solid waste management. There has also been a drastic increase of allocation in the water supply and sanitation schemes from the year 2023-2024.

In the new fiscal year, the water supply and sanitation programme has been allocated Rs31.639. In the year 2023-2024, the allocation was Rs26.3 billion.

As for the development of roads under the Sindh Local Government, Housing & Town Planning head, the budget estimation without the FPA is Rs21.61 billion. For the mega scheme for Karachi, the provincial government has estimated an allocation of Rs12.362 billion, with a total of 11 schemes, out of which none is new. In the 2023-24 fiscal year, Rs12.362 billion was allocated for the city’s mega schemes.